It was learnt that the suspects – David Achebe, 37, and 43-year-old Daniel Ndukwe met their Waterloo on Saturday during an outward screening of passengers on Ethiopian and Egypt airline flights by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency at the MMIA.
The detectives were said to have placed the duo on a close watch, during which Achebe excreted 45 wraps of cocaine while Nduwke expelled five wraps of the drug.
A Punch correspondent gathered that Achebe and Ndukwe had wanted to smuggle the narcotic to Hong Kong and Greece respectively.
Achebe, who deals in electronics, reportedly told investigators that a friend contracted him to traffic cocaine with a promise of N5m for a successful operation.
He said, “I sell electronics at Alaba market. This is my first time of dealing in drugs. My friend in Hong Kong introduced me to cocaine smuggling. He sent the drug to me. The cocaine was in a black polythene bag containing plantain and pineapples.
“I swallowed the 45 wraps in my toilet without my wife’s knowledge. I was promised the sum of N5m which I had wanted to use in importing electronics. At the airport, they told me that scanning machine indicated that I had drugs on me. That was how I was arrested.”
Ndukwe in his confessional statement said he thought he would scale through the screening due to the small quantity of the drug, adding that he was to be paid N250,000.
“I have lived in Athens (Greece) for over a decade. I lost my job last year and things have been very bad financially. I came to Nigeria to visit my wife and two children. I had no plan to smuggle drugs until a friend called me from Athens that I should bring five wraps of cocaine. Since it is only five wraps, I felt it will be an easy task. He sent someone to give me the wraps in Umuahia (Abia State). I inserted the five wraps in my anus,” he said.
The NDLEA Commander at the airport, Mr. Ahmadu Garba, said a preliminary investigation indicated that the suspects wanted to cash in on the Yuletide, thinking there would be laxity in the screening process.
“Both suspects tested positive for narcotic ingestion and while under observation, they expelled wraps of cocaine which they had wanted to smuggle out of the country. Achebe ingested cocaine weighing 935 grammes while Ndukwe ingested 215 grammes. The suspects are currently under investigation,” Ahmadu added.
The Chairman of the agency, Col. Muhammad Abdallah (retd), stated that those, who indulged in drug trafficking, would end up in prison custody.
He said, “This is a warning to drug traffickers that the agency is determined to detect all hidden drugs and prosecute offenders. There are control measures in place to detect narcotics at all exit and entry points. We shall continue to improve on our strategies in order to provide a safe society for all.”